38,000 sign petition for him to regain party whip
By Ricky Browne
Barely two weeks after former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was booted from the party for not standing up to antisemitism, he has been welcomed back with folded arms.
But in a move that runs the danger of satisfying no one, he is still not allowed to represent the party on the Parliamentary floor.
Corbyn was suspended from the party in October when he tried to play down the charges of antisemitism that were laid at his feet and on the Labour Party by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Corbyn said at the time that “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”
The decision to remove Corbyn from the party was hailed by many, as a way of beginning to mend the damage that was caused to the party by the report. But others scorned the move, as they believed that the charges that Corbyn himself was antisemetic were unfair.
But 19 days later a five-member panel from Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) unanimously decided to give Corbyn a formal warning and restore his party membership.
Starmer, however, has prevented Corbyn from sitting as a Labour MP.
Still, Corbyn is happy to be back in the party, folded arms or not.
“I am pleased to have been reinstated in the Labour Party and would like to thank party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity. Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government,” Corbyn tweeted after his reinstatement on November 17th.
His twitter handle still reads that he is the Labour MP for Islington North, although he now has to operate as an independent.
Comments were a mixed bag.
On one side you had people and groups tweeting their support.
“Welcome back Jeremy. The Labour MP for Islington North,” tweeted The Left Wing Society.
“Really pleased for you Jeremy, I’m so sorry that you’ve been treated like this just for being a decent human being,” tweeted Space Keith@tingedfunny.
On another side you had those who condemned the move.
“A racist anti-Semitic party welcomes back one of its own…” tweeted Spring Heeled Jack@MarcL71 in a reply He received 2,000 likes.
“A few other ‘friends’ you forgot to thank, you flaming Antisemite!” tweeted Arsen Ostrovsky@Ostrov_AInt’l who states that he is a human rights lawyer & political analyst. The tweet contained four photos, as shown below.
“The party has no chance of defeating the Conservative government for as long as it has ties to you and the toxic elements you represent,” tweeted David Collier@mishtal.
And then on a third side, some tweets appeared to support the decision but for alternate reasons.
“I am pleased you have been reinstated in the Labour Party. It shines a light on who they are and what they care for. A party that tolerates racism in its ranks,” tweeted Lance Foreman.
“Well done mate, despite the current gov’t having many problems you will ensure an anti semetic Labour remain in the wilderness,” tweeted Ray D O’Lisner@dgibbo100.
Meanwhile, Starmer’s decision to not allow Corbyn to sit as a Labour MP drew criticism from some quarters of his party.
“So @Keir_Starmer takes unilateral decision to exclude @jeremycorbyn as a Labour MP. But no notice, no consultation, no right of appeal, no redress…no due process at all. And Starmer was a human rights lawyer #IStandWithJeremyCorbyn” tweeted Diane Abbot the Labour MP for Hackney.
Her tweet was liked 6,600 times and retweeted by 1600 people.
A little later Abbot was calling for people to support Corbyn by signing a petition.
“Restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn – Sign the Petition,” Abbott tweeted.
The petition reads: “We support Jeremy Corbyn’s reinstatement into the Labour Party and call for the Parliamentary Labour Party whip to be restored.” It was created by a group called ‘Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn’.
A total of 38,644 had signed the petition in about two hours, and it was well on its way towards its first goal of 50,000 signatures.
Meanwhile in the Twitter stakes, new leader Keir Starmer is lagging Jeremy Corbyn by more than a million followers. Starmer has one million followers compared to 2.4 million for Corbyn.